Submitted as: methods for assessment of models
14 Sep 2022
Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 14 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Evaluation of Native Earth System Model Output with ESMValTool v2.6.0

Manuel Schlund1, Birgit Hassler1, Axel Lauer1, Bouwe Andela2, Patrick Jöckel1, Rémi Kazeroni1, Saskia Loosveldt Tomas3, Brian Medeiros4, Valeriu Predoi5, Stéphane Sénési6, Jérôme Servonnat7, Tobias Stacke8, Javier Vegas-Regidor3,a, Klaus Zimmermann9, and Veronika Eyring1,10 Manuel Schlund et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 3Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), 08034, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5NCAS-CMS, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 6Stéphane Sénési EIRL, Colomiers, France
  • 7Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif sur Yvette, France
  • 8Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 9Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Folkborgsvägen 17, 601 76 Norrköping, Sweden
  • 10University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), Bremen, Germany
  • anow at: Nnergix Energy Management SL, Avenida Josep Tarradellas 80, 08029 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Earth system models (ESMs) are state-of-the-art climate models that allow numerical simulations of the past, present-day, and future climate. To extend our understanding of the Earth system and improve climate change projections, the complexity of ESMs heavily increased over the last decades. As a consequence, the amount and volume of data provided by ESMs has increased considerably. Innovative tools for a comprehensive model evaluation and analysis are required to assess the performance of these increasingly complex ESMs against observations or reanalyses. One of these tools is the Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool), a community diagnostic and performance metrics tool for the evaluation of ESMs. Input data for ESMValTool need to be formatted according to the CMOR (Climate Model Output Rewriter) standard, a process that is usually referred to as CMORization. While this is a quasi-standard for large model intercomparison projects like the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), this complicates the application of ESMValTool to non-CMOR-compliant climate model output.

In this paper, we describe an extension of ESMValTool introduced in v2.6.0 that allows seamless reading and processing native climate model output, i.e., raw output directly produced by the climate model. This is achieved by an extension of ESMValTool's preprocessing pipeline that performs a CMOR-like reformatting of the native model output during runtime. Thus, the rich collection of diagnostics provided by ESMValTool is now fully available for these models. For models that use unstructured grids, a further preprocessing step required to apply many common diagnostics is regridding to a regular latitude-longitude grid. Extensions to ESMValTool's regridding functions described here allow for more flexible interpolation schemes that can be used on unstructured grids. Currently, ESMValTool supports nearest-neighbor, bilinear, and first-order conservative regridding from unstructured grids to regular grids.

Example applications of this new native model support are the evaluation of new model setups against predecessor versions, assessing of the performance of different simulations against observations, CMORization of native model data for contributions to model intercomparison projects, and monitoring of running climate model simulations. For the latter, new general-purpose diagnostics have been added to ESMValTool that are able to plot a wide range of variable types. Currently, five climate models are supported: CESM2 (experimental; will be fully available in ESMValTool v2.7.0), EC-Earth3, EMAC, ICON, and IPSL-CM6. As the framework for the CMOR-like reformatting of native model output described here is implemented in a general way, support for other climate models can be easily added.

Manuel Schlund et al.

Status: open (until 09 Nov 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Manuel Schlund et al.

Manuel Schlund et al.


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Short summary
The Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool) is a community diagnostics and performance metrics tool for routine evaluation of Earth system models. Originally, ESMValTool has been designed to process reformatted output provided by large model intercomparison projects like the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Here, we describe a new extension of ESMValTool that allows reading and processing native climate model output, i.e., data that has not been reformatted before.